We love everything about Christmas, especially the food which is why we wanted to share this mouth-watering recipe for Christmas cake by Caroline Gardiner & Alan Lucas, the in-house catering team at Camm & Hooper.
For the pudding
200g frozen dark sweet cherries defrosted, plus extra cherries, left whole, to decorate
100g chopped pistachios
100ml cherry brandy
100g bar dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp for greasing
2 large eggs
50g plain flour
100g dark soft brown sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp cocoa powder
50g fresh breadcrumbs
- Drain the cherries in a sieve over a bowl & cut them in half. Peel the pear, then grate them coarsely & throw into a large bowl with the chopped pistachios, sultanas and cherry brandy. Stir well and transfer to a saucepan.
- Heat on the stove until simmering and then leave to cool for 5 mins to let the fruit plump up.
- Break the chocolate into squares. Tip the chocolate and butter into the hot fruit, stir, then leave to melt. Let it cool, uncovered, for about 15 mins.
- Meanwhile, rub 1 tbsp butter around the inside of a 1-litre pudding basin.
- Lay two sheets of foil over each other and butter the one on top. Holding both sheets together, fold a 3cm pleat across the middle of the foil and set aside.
- Beat the eggs together in a small bowl. Sift the flour, sugar, mixed spice and cocoa powder on top of the chocolatey fruit, then add the breadcrumbs, eggs and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir everything together with a wooden spoon – it should be quite a wet mixture. Tip it into the buttered basin.
- Cover the pudding with the buttered foil (buttery-side down), and scrunch it over the edge of the basin. Tie string tightly under the lip of the basin.
- Put a heatproof saucer into the very large saucepan, then put the basin on top. Pour in just-boiled water to come halfway up the basin.
- Cover the pan and steam the pudding for 2 1/2 hrs. Test the pudding is cooked by inserting a skewer through the foil – if there is any wet mixture, steam for 15 mins more then check again. The pan should be simmering rather than boiling hard. Top up the water levels as it cooks, if you need to.
- To store, let the pudding cool and leave in a cool dark place to mature. Don’t unwrap the foil.You can make this pudding up to two months before eating.
- To reheat, steam in a pan for 30 mins, or microwave on medium for 5 mins. Remove the foil to microwave, covering with clingfilm instead
- Serve with lashings of double cream
All that’s left to say is Happy Baking! If you’d like to sample more of Camm & Hooper’s delicious food, visit the London Summer Event Show in January where there will be free food, drink, entertainment at their venue Banking Hall as well as a whole host of awesome event venues and suppliers. Click here for more information about the event.